- The Washington Times - Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Many Washington-area restaurants are open for Easter brunch, dinner or both. Some also have photo opportunities with the Easter Bunny, and several egg hunts are planned, too.

In Washington’s West End, the three-course Easter brunch at chef Brian McBride’s Blue Duck Tavern in the Washington Park Hyatt Hotel (24th and M streets Northwest, 202/419-6755, www.blueducktavern.com) begins with an assortment of first courses set around the open kitchen. Next is an a la carte entree selection that includes seasonal dishes such as Jameson Farm spring leg of lamb with morels; Eco Farm roast rack of pork with lemon plums and cipollini onions, and wood-fired Alaskan halibut with sweet-pea sauce. The tempting desserts are available from the restaurant’s pastry pantry. Brunch, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., is $80 per person for adults and $40 for children ages 6 to 12, complimentary for children younger than 6.

The Easter Bunny will make his rounds at the holiday brunch at 1789 Restaurant (1226 36th St. NW; 202/965-1789, www.1789restaurant.com) stopping at each table to deliver candy to children. Chef Nathan Beauchamp’s Easter brunch menu, served from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., includes the first and second courses in the entree price ($24 to $38); desserts are $9.

The brunch menu includes braised rhubarb and strawberries with Greek yogurt and Marcona almonds; rack of lamb with fava-bean puree, charred onions and mint; steak and eggs with creamed spinach, country bread and red-wine jus; and brioche French toast with glazed bananas, peanut butter and maple butter.

Bobby Varua is cooking his first Easter brunch and dinner as the new executive chef of 701 (701 Pennsylvania Ave. NW; 202/393-0701, www.701restaurant.com). The three-course prix-fixe brunch, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., $40 per person, includes scrambled eggs royal with smoked salmon, Maine lobster, citrus creme fraiche and sevruga caviar as a first course; black-truffle-stuffed beef Wellington with potato and celery-root puree, braised English peas and baby carrots as an entree, or, perhaps, pan-roasted Berkshire pork chop with sweet-and-sour rhubarb, sauteed spinach and maple buerre blanc. Desserts include an apple-pear strudel served with rhubarb compote, brown sugar ice cream and a maple reduction.

For Easter dinner, from 5:30 to 9 p.m., Mr. Varua will be offering traditional Easter specials in addition to the regular dinner menu.

Mon Ami Gabi (7239 Woodmont Ave, Bethesda; 301/654-1234, www.monamigabi.com) will have a make-your-own bloody mary bar with fixings from fresh radishes to pickled jalapenos to 10 hot sauces at its Easter brunch from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. The restaurant”s Little Frites menu will be available for children 12 and younger. The brunch menu includes traditional eggs Benedict with Canadian bacon, smoked salmon or London broil. The apple French toast is made with vanilla brioche and is served with cinnamon apples. A la carte specialties from the regular menu are available, too.

Restaurant K by Alison Swope (1700 K St. NW; 202/974-6545, www.restaurantkbyalisonswope.com) will serve Easter brunch from noon to 3 p.m., followed by Easter dinner until 9 p.m. Brunch items include blue-crab quiche — a tender pastry shell filled with egg custard, Gruyere cheese, sauteed onion, corn and fresh crabmeat ($9.75). Among the dinner entrees is seared tuna steak with vegetable picadillo of chayote squash, corn, almonds, garlic, tomato and raisins with a dash of aromatic seasoning, and a basmati rice flapjack ($29.30).

The three-course Easter lunch menu of chef Tony Conti at the Oval Room (800 Connecticut Ave. NW; 202/463-8700, www.ovalroom.com) includes a choice of white asparagus soup with white port gel and pickled shallots or foie-gras dumplings with charred pineapple, spice cookie and licorice syrup. Among the entrees: potato gnocchi, crispy wild mushrooms and hazelnuts; and aged soy-glazed pork belly, kumquat marmalade, ancho chili and spiced salt. The three desserts come with a sorbet or ice cream: toasted coconut cream tart, green tea and lemon-grass sorbet; devil’s food cake, chocolate mousse, praline and coffee ice cream; or blood orange Pavlova, fennel ice cream and fennel pollen meringue.

The Easter brunch at Marcel’s (2401 Pennsylvania Ave. NW; 202/296-1166, www.marcelsdc.com) begins with a choice that includes a crab flan with aged sherry shallot butter, and a frisee salad with deviled quail eggs. Among the main courses are a roulade of rabbit, and lamb tenderloins wrapped in phyllo pastry. A plum tarragon tart with Armagnac ice cream is one of the desserts. The price is $70 for adults and $35 for children younger than 12. The hours are 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

The three-course Easter brunch at Ardeo (3311 Connecticut Ave. NW; 202/244-6750, www.ardeorestaurant.com) is served from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and costs $36.50 per person. Diners’ choices for appetizers include a spring English pea soup with toasted almond froth, and a plate of shrimp and grits accompanied by melted onions, tasso ham and thyme jus. Among entrees, the roast spring lamb is served with carrot risotto, French beans and a saffron-mint balsamic reduction; the grilled salmon arrives with curried apple compote, rosemary-onion cream and bagel chips. The dessert topping the menu is warm pear upside-down cake with butter pecan ice cream.

Children can pose with the Easter Bunny during the buffet brunch at the Colonnade with views of the Fairmont Washington’s courtyard garden, 2401 M St. NW, 202/457-5000. The hours are 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., and the cost, $95 per person, includes Taittinger champagne and fresh-squeezed orange juice. For children 12 and younger, the price is $47 each.

Entrees include pink peppercorn and sea salt crusted rack of spring lamb with lavender-scented jus, and baked Carolina snapper with lemon-grass butter sauce. Pastry chef Aron Weber’s 10-layer chocolate gateau will join other sweets in the pastry display.

On Maryland’s Eastern Shore, the town of Easton is holding an Easter egg hunt for children, who can have their photos taken with the Easter Bunny, on Saturday. The hunt begins on the courthouse lawn at 11 N. Washington St. at 10 a.m. for children 5 and younger, and soon after that for children 6 to 12.

Mrs. K’s Toll House (9201 Colesville Road, Silver Spring, 301/589-3500) will hold its first Bring Your Own Basket dining adventure on Easter. Mrs. K’s will offer three traditional Easter egg hunts for children 12 and younger, to be followed by three seatings for executive chef Maurisee Upshur’s all-inclusive Easter dinner, priced at $60 per person, $25 for children 12 and younger, with an additional $10 per family to participate in the Easter egg hunt. Each hunt will run 30 minutes before dinner reservations.

DC Coast (1401 K St. NW; www.dccoast.com, 202-216-5988) is serving Easter dinner from 2 to 7 p.m. Sunday. Acadiana (901 New York Ave. NW; www.acadianarestaurant.com, 202/408-8848) is serving Easter brunch from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and dinner from 4 to 7 p.m.

Next month — April 27, actually — is the Orthodox Easter, for which chef Mike Isabella of Zaytinya (701 Ninth St. NW; www.zaytinya.com, 202/638-0800) is planning a special menu. This will be in addition to the restaurant’s regular offering of mezes from Greece, Turkey and Lebanon.

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